Options to eating healthy when going out

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COLUMBIA - More people are going to restaurants looking for a healthier menu.

According to the National Restaurant Association more than seven out of 10 adults are trying to eat healthier at restaurants than they did two years ago.

Leigh Lockhart is the owner of Main Squeeze Natural Foods Cafe and said she started her business about 20 years ago and sees the crave to eat healthy grow over the years.

“I think it kind of parallels with what is going on in our culture in general, which is a heightened awareness about nutrition, about exercise, about all the things that contribute to a healthy lifestyle," Lockhart said. 

Registered Dietitian Jennifer Bean compared eating healthy to what our grandmothers would regularly eat. That includes lots of vegetables, protein and low fat dairy.

Nourish Cafe + Market opened up in June and prides themselves with serving organic and health conscious foods. 

Kalle Lemone, co-owner of Nourish Cafe + Market, said they pick and choose wisely what meats and produce they use in their items.

“We pay so close attention even down to the oils that we choose," Lemone said.

Both Main Squeeze Natural Foods Cafe and Nourish Cafe + Market use local produce in their recipes. They both believe it is important to give back to the community and try to provide the freshest product possible. 

“Food safety should be food safety regardless of it is organic. So some people may have the misconception that organic means that it is bacteria free and that is not at all the case," Bean said.

Lockhart said the certification process of having a product all organic is important in knowing her dishes can be "absolutely free of chemicals and pesticides."

All three women agree that eating lots of vegetables is the first step to improving a healthier lifestyle.